United States

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Grand Canyon NP-Arizona-USA.jpg

Sustainability initiatives[edit | edit source]

Indigenous peoples[edit | edit source]

Honor the Earth - Indigenous Environmental Network - Seventh Generation Fund

Local sustainability initiatives[edit source]

Please see our local or city pages via the United States category, where of course you can share any more information you may have about local sustainability initiatives.

Initiatives by topic[edit | edit source]

United States topics with their own wiki page listed under See also

Biodiversity[edit | edit source]

AMC's Mountain Watch, Citizen science and phenology monitoring in the Appalachian mountains

Butterfly Conservation Initiative

Center for Biological Diversity

Project Budburst, Citizen Science for Plant Phenology in the USA

USA National Phenology Network, Citizen science and research network observations on phenology in the USA

Coasts[edit | edit source]

Blue Frontier Campaign, marine conservation activist organization which has established a nationwide network of grassroots (the marine conservation community or Blue Movement calls this 'seaweed') lobbyists. It is campaigning for an American Oceans Act to protect what the members call "our public seas" and is working to improve ocean policies in the 23 coastal states of the United States. Blue Frontier supports maritime community activists by distributing model policies and practices. W

Clean Beaches Coalition

Community and voluntary action[edit | edit source]

United We Serve, an official website of the U.S. Government - Volunteering and Civic Life in America

Community currencies activism[edit | edit source]

Commons Currency Project, Imagining a Great Lakes Commons Currency

TimeBanks USA

Community safety[edit | edit source]

Mothers Against Senseless Killing

News and comment

Critical Mass Chicago 050826.jpg
Chicago: Come for the fun, stay for the revolution, Nov 16 [1]

The Unsung Role That Ordinary Citizens Played in the Great Crime Decline, Nov 9 [2]

Cycling activism[edit | edit source]

League of American Bicyclists, The League’s Bicycle Friendly America℠ program - PeopleForBikes - Stolen Bike Registry

Education for sustainability[edit | edit source]

Center for Ecoliteracy - Safe Routes to School National Partnership

Environment quality[edit | edit source]

Open Government Homepage, United States Environmental Protection Agency (government)

Drought National Drought Mitigation Center - U.S. Drought Portal

Wikipedia: Drought in the United States, 2010–13 Southern United States drought, 2012–14 North American drought

News and comment


Seattle Stopped Sucking—So Can You, Oct 26 [3]

Study: Pollution Kills More People Than War, Smoking, Hunger, and Other Causes of Death, Oct 20 [4]

Ethical consumerism[edit | edit source]

Center for the New American Dream - ConsumerProtect.com - GreenerChoices.org - Wikipedia: List of Fairtrade settlements in the United States

News and comment



Apr 23 Towards sustainable economies US: Accessible local alternatives to Amazon Prime [5]

Free stuff[edit | edit source]

A potlatch is a gift-giving feast practiced by indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast of Canada and the United States, among whom it is traditionally the primary economic system. Since the practice was de-criminalized in the post-war years, the potlatch has re-emerged in some communities. [6]

Health[edit | edit source]

Active Living By Design, creates community-led change by working with local and national partners to build a culture of active living and healthy eating.

Change Lab Solutions, nonprofit which offers legal information on public health issues. The website states:

‘It can be difficult—if not impossible—to find fresh, affordable healthy food in many urban and rural low-income communities. One way to make fresh produce more accessible is to encourage alternative retail outlets, such as farmers’ markets, farm stands, and community supported agriculture (CSA) programs, where farmers can sell their produce directly to consumers.’
Their report entitled ‘California Certified Farmers’ Markets and Farm Stands: A Closer Look at State Law’ argues for more flexible regulations. Change Lab Solutions has written a fact sheet entitled ‘Creating a Permit Program for Produce Cart Vendors.’ W

CDC's Climate-Ready States & Cities Initiative, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Health Care Without Harm US / Canada, press room

News and comment

2017: Economic Inequality and Health Inequality Are Inextricably Linked, Dec 5 [7]

2015: Surgeon General’s Prescription for Health: Walk More, September 28 [8]

Localism[edit | edit source]

BALLE, Business Alliance for Local Living Economies - Community-Wealth.org, a project of Democracy Collaborative - Institute for local self reliance, nonprofit organization and advocacy group that provides technical assistance to communities about local solutions for sustainable community development in areas such as banking, broadband, energy, and waste through local purchasing. The organization was founded in 1974. ILSR has two main offices, one in Washington, D.C., and the other in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The 1990 edition of the Whole Earth Catalog summarized ILSR's mission as follows: “ILSR specializes in urban community economic development that isn't dependent on welfare handouts. Unlike many similar organizations, they develop clever technical solutions to problems - they've been particularly successful in material recovery and other schemes to reduce waste. Their experience and thoroughly professional demeanor, together with a Washington DC location, has enabled them to be influential in policy decisions.” W

News and comment



Apr 23 Towards sustainable economies US: Accessible local alternatives to Amazon Prime [9]

Open spaces[edit | edit source]

Great Old Broads for Wilderness - Land Trust Alliance - ParkGrades.com, find a great park near you

Community Greens

Communities nationwide are taking down their backyard fences; backyard commons already exist in numerous cities including Boston, Sacramento, Baltimore, New York, and San Francisco.
Community Greens are multi-functional spaces for gardening, recreation, and leisure which provide social, economic, and environmental benefits to urban residents. Communities that create backyard commons have increased interaction with neighbors throughout the planning and implementation process, which results in a stronger overall sense of community. Other social benefits include decreased crime from having more eyes on the street and having safe places for children to play and adults to relax. Community Greens, like other types of urban green spaces, significantly improve the ecological functioning of urban habitats. Vegetation and permeable pavement slows stormwater runoff and allows for groundwater recharge. This in turn reduces pollutant loads being carried to nearby waterbodies during storm events. Urban environments are often significantly warmer than outlying suburbs, mostly due to the prevalence of low-albedo concrete surfaces. City trees mitigate this heat island effect and cool the urban microclimate through shading and evapotranspiration. When neighbors take down their fences, backyards are transformed from fragmented habitats to connected corridors for urban wildlife. City dwellers recognize value in green space, often simply from an aesthetic standpoint, and this is reflected through increased property values. W

Road safety[edit | edit source]

National Complete Streets Coalition, Smart Growth America

Reduce, reuse, repair and recycle[edit | edit source]

Drop Box Finder - earth911.com - The Swap-o-matic - US Composting Council - Post-Landfill Action Network, national movement of student leaders working towards a world without waste. - GrassRoots Recycling Network - The Repair Association - The Truth About Plastic

Wikipedia: Recycling in the United States: In 2012 the recycling rate in US was 23.8%. Since there is no national law that mandates recycling, state and local governments often introduce recycling requirements. A number of U.S. states, including California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon, and Vermont have passed laws that establish deposits or refund values on beverage containers while other jurisdictions rely on recycling goals or landfill bans of recyclable materials.

News sources: Northeast Recycling Council Blog

Sharing[edit | edit source]

Pets to Share - City Dog Share


Cohousing Association of the United States, site includes a Cohousing Directory


Creating Cohousing, Building Sustainable Communities, by Kathryn McCamant & Charles Durrett, newsociety.com
How To Start A Tool Library (or any other type of Lending Library), Share Starter
Local Tools, rental and tool library software


Find an Existing Tool Library, localtools.org


S400: Bringing Community to the Micro-level – The Opportunities of Urban Cohousing, 2012 March 5, citytank.org

Social inclusion[edit | edit source]

Strike Fast Food, Low Pay Is Not OK - We Are Visible, empowering the homeless via social media

Sustainable livelihood[edit | edit source]

Caring Economy Campaign

Resilience Circles are small groups where people come together to increase their personal security through learning, mutual aid, social action, and community support.

News and comment


Mar 26 The benefit workers want most is less work [10]


Feb 17 Can We Earn a Living on a Living Planet? [11]

Trees, woodland and forest[edit | edit source]

ACTrees, Alliance for community trees - Tree City USA


List of U.S. National Forests: The United States has 155 protected areas known as National Forests covering 188,293,938 acres (762,000 km2/294,208 sq. mi). The National Forests are managed by the U.S. Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Tree City USA is a tree planting and tree care program sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation for cities and towns in the United States. List of Tree Cities USA

Urban sustainability[edit | edit source]

Better Block, nonprofit that educates, equips, and empower communities to reshape built environments

Center for Community Progress

Create Streets America

OpenPlans (Wikipedia) non-profit technology based advocacy organization which aims to help to open up government and improve transportation systems.

America Walks

Reimagining the Civic Commons - Civic Commons - Reimagining Our Cities’ Public Assets

Walkabile Communities

Small Scale Developers & Builders, information from Congress for the New Urbanism

KaBOOM!, national non-profit dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids, particularly those growing up in poverty

News and comment


A view fo the Riverwalk from street level.jpg

Texas: Dallas non-profit creates bike share docks for neighborhoods, Feb 19 [12]

2017: Small Towns Can Be Resilient, Too, Mar 29 [13]

See also Barcelona

Events[edit | edit source]

see separate article: US sustainable community events

News and comment[edit | edit source]

see separate article: US news

Resources[edit | edit source]

Apps for sustainability[edit | edit source]

Apps for sustainability, USA part 1 (2011, not yet updated)


Urban sustainability

  • SeeClickFix
  • Neighborland uses mobile technologies, along with other online and offline outreach activities, to engage residents and civic leaders in neighborhood development. Users can suggest development ideas and support ones that resonate with them. They can also discuss how to turn these ideas into tangible projects
  • Walk Score, a Walk Score for any address

Citizens data initiative[edit | edit source]

Data USA, "the most comprhensive visualization of US public data

Data.gov, home of the U.S. Government’s open data

Data & Society, NYC-based think/do tank focused on social, cultural, and ethical issues arising from data-centric technological development.

EcoWest, data, maps, graphics on environmental trends. Material published under creative commons license.

Infographic: How Green is Your State?, globalwarmingisreal.com

Pinterest: EarthShare: Environmental Data

Commons[edit | edit source]

  • On the Commons added 09:06, 6 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Great Lakes Commons, a grassroots effort to establish the Great Lakes as a thriving, living commons — shared and sacred waters that we all protect in perpetuity.

Community resources[edit | edit source]


News and comment


Sep 11 Why 'Social Infrastructure' Is the Key to Renewing Civil Society [14]
Sep 8 To Restore Civil Society, Start With the Library [15]

Funding[edit | edit source]

ioby, " built on the belief that a simple and proven tool — crowdfunding — can be put in the hands of people and communities that need it, and the results can be transformative for people, for places, and for power structures." [16]


see also: Colorado, Food activism

Legal resources[edit | edit source]

Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund

Sustainable Economies Law Center

Maps[edit | edit source]

Social inclusion: US Poverty trends, MapStory

Networks[edit | edit source]

EarthShare, national federation that supports American environmental and conservation charities. Its stated mission is to engage individuals and organizations in creating a healthy and sustainable environment, by promoting environmental awareness and raising funds primarily through employee workplace giving. W

Labor Network for Sustainability

The Next System Project

Personal options[edit | edit source]

Energy saving: Project Laundry List, (Wikipedia) is a New Hampshire group that encourages the outdoor drying of clothes, "making air-drying laundry and cold-water washing acceptable and desirable as simple and effective ways to save energy," as quoted from their mission statement. It supports what is sometimes called the "right to dry". It provides information to those who working to change laws that prevent neighborhoods, private housing developments and apartment complexes from outlawing clothes lines because of aesthetic reasons, under the stated principle "All citizens nation-wide should have the legal right to hang out their laundry."

Video[edit | edit source]

Visions[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

Interwiki links[edit | edit source]


United States
Sierra Club, environmental organization in the United States, founded in 1892, in San Francisco; article includes section on Criticism and Controversy




This page includes Creative Commons Licensed content from the Sustainable community action wiki on Wikia.
The list of authors can be seen in the history, link via drop down menu at top left of page.